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49ers 90-in-90: Does Josh Rosen make the roster as QB3?

Breaking down the 90 players on the 49ers offseason roster in 90 posts (over 90 or so days). Today is quarterback Josh Rosen

Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

Jimmy Garoppolo is making the roster and will likely be your Week 1 starter for the 49ers, barring Trey Lance, the current QB2, dominating the preseason and going the coaching staff no choice but to start the rookie.

Nate Sudfield seems primed to make the roster over Rosen as the third quarterback if we follow the money. The 49ers gave Sudfield $252,000 guaranteed, while Rosen doesn’t have any guarantees on his contract.

I think fans want Rosen to make it as he’s a former high draft pick and supposedly has room to grow as a quarterback. San Francisco watched Rosen practice every day during December and didn’t give Rosen any guarantees and then went out and signed Sudfield.

I think we have our answer to the article’s question. Rosen looks the part, but he’s never put it together at the professional level.

Basic info

Age: 24

Experience: Three seasons

Height: 6’4

Weight: 226 pounds

Cap Status

Rosen is on a one-year deal with zero guaranteed money. If he makes the roster, Rosen’s base salary will be $850,000. San Francisco can release the former tenth overall pick of the ‘18 draft and not suffer any dead money against the salary cap.

What to expect in 2021

I don’t think Rosen makes the roster, and we’ll get to that in the next section. I imagine he’ll remain on the 49ers' practice squad and continue to develop. Who is to say that Rosen is an upgrade over the likes of Nick Mullens or C.J. Beathard?

He didn’t play over either last year. While it’s easy to point to the fact that Rosen just recently joined the 49ers, the team didn’t make him active right away. If Rosen turns into the long-term backup to Lance, that’s probably the best-case scenario.

They could sign Rosen for cheap, and Lance would remain on his rookie contract. Rosen will have to prove himself this year, and that starts in training camp and the preseason. From there, gradual improvement should be what Rosen aims to do.

Odds of making the roster

Rosen has started 16 games in his NFL career and has 12 interceptions compared to 19 interceptions. What’s more troubling is that Rosen rarely pushes the ball down the field (5.7 yards per attempt), knows where he’s going with the ball, and had a big-time fumbling issue (12 fumbles, five lost, in 16 starts.)

People often remember Rosen the way they want to: a rising star out of UCLA. That feels like ages ago, and pegging Rosen as that same prospect isn’t realistic. He has an uphill battle to make the roster.

Sudfield, 27, isn’t some unknown. Money talks and the 49ers likely give him an opportunity to win the QB3 job over Rosen, who can take the third-string job if he earns it.

Despite being a one-year deal, Rosen feels like a long-term investment, who could make the team look smart down the road. If not, he’s a low-risk camp arm that gives the defense a good look in practice.